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Top 10 Tips for Moving or Retiring Abroad

13 May 2013

Top 10 Tips for Moving or Retiring Abroad

Bishop's Move are the UK's largest family-owned removals company and we have been moving people abroad since 1854 - our very first International move was from London to Paris in a horse drawn removals van.

Over the last 155 years, we have developed a wealth of International moving experience and shipping know-how - so we thought we'd share them with you with our Top 10 Tips for Moving or Retiring Abroad.

  1. If you're moving or retiring abroad make sure you tell the relevant government offices that deal with your benefits, pension & tax.
  2. Visas - these can sometimes take a long time to procure, depending on which country you are relocating to. So make sure you allow for this before you move as it may delay the importation process.
    • Global Visas can help advise and secure a visa to most international destinations
  3. Get your foreign currency transferred by experts, such as FC Exchange - by using this competitive foreign currency company you will not only transfer your money simply, efficiently and securely but you could save the cost of your move.
    1. It can be extremely costly & difficult to import/export your car to most countries (although not impossible.)  For example, Australia will ask you to steam clean your car prior to shipping. (And probably again on arrival.)
    2. Avoid taking food or beverages when you move, as whilst allowed by some countries, most don't allow them or will want to inspect them which can cause unnecessary delays. Find out exactly what you can and can't take by selecting the country you are moving to:
      Moving to AmericaMoving to America Moving to AustraliaMoving to Australia Moving to CanadaMoving to Canada Moving to Hong KongMoving to Hong Kong
      Moving to New ZealandMoving to New Zealand Moving to SingaporeMoving to Singapore Moving to South AfricaMoving to South Africa Moving to the UAEMoving to the UAE
      Moving to CyprusMoving to Cyprus Moving to FranceMoving to France Moving to GermanyMoving to Germany Moving to GibraltarMoving to Gibraltar
      Spanish FlagMoving to Spain Moving to SwitzerlandMoving to Switzerland Moving to EuropeMoving to Europe  
    3. If you don't need your items delivered on exact date & time, sharing a shipping container (known as "groupage" or a "part load") could be your cheapest option. Your effects are consolidated and loaded into a container with other clients consignments that are going to the same or similar destination. The delivery date and time is then liaised with you all so be prepared to be a little flexible.
    4. If you need storage on arrival in the country you are moving to then think about choosing a longer shipping route. This will mean that you will effectively be storing your items at sea instead of in an expensive port facility - a good shipping company should be able to help you sort this out.
    5. Make sure the removals company moving you is affiliated to the Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux, or FIDI for short. It will ensure the same high standards of removals and shipping are also received at your destination.
    6. Make sure that you have separate transportation or shipping insurance as marine and air carriers only have limited liability and this will ensure that you are items are protected for their declared value.
    7. Get involved with the community you have moved to. There are lots of expat groups on Facebook & Twitter to help you feel at home. Here are a few of the more general, but active ones we like and follow:
  4. We hope that you find these Top 10 Expat Tips for moving or retiring abroad useful. If you are an expat yourself, feel free to post any top tips that you value for moving or retiring abroad.

     Remember to follow us on Twitter (@BishopsMove_ ) or become a Fan on Facebook ( for the latest moving abroad tips and advice.